Lettuce Farming - Fridays

Pinjarra Travel Blog

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Wigi & crab scoop

On Fridays it's just me, Jeff & David. This is nice as again it gives me someone else to talk to apart from David & Dolly, and Jeff has shared with me in confidence his own experiences of David's tenacity. He had seen during my first weeks that David was directing his intense ideas towards me, and worried that I appeared not to be coping so well. The second week he noted my new 'nod', and appropriately-placed but non-committal "mmm-hmmms", and complimented me on my new-found skills at deflecting the barrage of nonsense. We had a chuckle about it over 200 bags of hand-picked and hand-packed salad.

Fridays is a comparatively easy day as the shops are just keeping enough stock between the big orders Thursday & Saturday & once the Pick 'n' Pack is over the rest of the day is mine.

Extreme fishing
Or it would be, if Dave didn't also think it kindly & hospitable of him to take us out on Fridays. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for crabbing & fishing, but I'd like to feel I had a choice, or that I could just read by the riverside if I liked. But instead he drags his dodgy old hand-made boat/surf-ski/katamaran made of old tubing & dusty deck chairs, ties it to the top of his beat-up Toyota & drags us off to some gorgeously pretty location to go wading around in seaweed.

The first time we did this it was more fun than I expected. We pulled up to the estuary and he pointed to a distant island populated with pelicans & seagulls & told me we were going there. I was dubious, and what's more, I was more than a bit anxious. He lent me an old pair of cut-off overalls & we waded about with crab scoops.

Cobbler
True to form, I was not naturally endowed with any great skill & kept wedging my scoop in the sand. The first crab I caught I only caught by default because it was trying to escape Dave's scoop & ran headlong into mine. But by the end of the day I had successfully caught one of my own & I was pleased as punch to add crabbing to my repertoire of experiences.

The second occasion David suggested going fishing and since I have only fished once before I greeted this with vague enthusiasm. Since the crabbing estuary adventure & his overwhelming landscape gardening fiasco I'm never quite sure how full-on David's ideas are going to be, nor quite how committed I will become with a mere "yes" so experience has led me to greet all his ideas with such ambiguity.

Blowy I caught
Nevertheless I agreed, had a shower and a nap, prepared picnic and awaited the fishing party.

We set out in the 40 year old mint-green Toyota (made before seat belts were invented) and headed off towards Mandurah to pick up Wayne. We received not a few stares at our beat-up old banger with 2 plastic chairs lashed to the roof with 4 fishing rods. We headed to the estuary and I was pleased to find out that we would not be balancing on jagged rocks as described since the jetty was free for a change, and we could settle in for the afternoon uninterrupted. We had a picnic lunch while David set up the rods, and while Wayne got stuck in casting and reeling, David darted between Dolly & I casting and re-baiting while we sat in our fishing thrones with custom-made rod-holders.

Dolly put us all to shame and caught a tiddler in the first 5 minutes. I was slower to start, and frequently felt the line pull but came up empty. It took a while to get the hang of reeling the line in, not jerking it when something tugged, and reeling in faster. Maybe I've watched too many fishing films, but I thought you weren't supposed to reel in hard in case the line broke, but I gather this is for large fish. Anyway I was unlucky for a good hour or so while Dolly & Wayne pulled out blowfish after blowfish. We tickled their tummies to make them blow up, and then when you throw them back they deflate with an inaudible raspberry before they even hit the water.

I was largely contented, but mildly frustrated with my lack of skills since these were clearly what were separating me from my counterparts. I decided to change tactic, reeling in faster when I got a tug and sure enough, out swung a blowy on my line. Well I was pleased as punch of course, and after that I managed to land 7, even once catching 2 on the same line, though the bugger jumped back in before I had time to record the fact. But even though blowfish are lethal to eat, and only 12" long, I didn't care. I caught a fish!

Since then we have been crabbing again, but at the insistence of my fella who knowingly made me promise not to get onto any of "Crazy Dave's" seacraft without a life vest I eschewed the choice of boating out in the channel & we settled for merely paddling in the shallows. Now my crabbing skills are much better & when they rear up in a challenge at my approach, I scoop the pretty purple & blue Manna Crabs no problem. They are never 'size' (big enough to take home) so we let them go, but sometimes they grab on hard to the scoop & refuse to be shaken off, or are so small (but look so much bigger magnified by the water) that they slip through the crab scoop wires. When they drop back in they zip in a straight line away from the scoop at lightning speed, but sometimes fail to realise the wielder of the scoop & career right into your waiting fleshy ankles... nip nip!

If we don't go fishing or crabbing because the tide/wind/moon isn't right (I am receiving an unbidden education in all three - Pete reminds me that it's David's way of 'engaging me') then we might be taken out 'dancing' at the 'Ravo' (Ravensthorpe pub), or one of the other local haunts. Dolly & David met at a rock 'n' roll dance class which they both attended (among other dance classes) for the social aspects. They like to impart this love for rock 'n' roll on their poor WWOOFees in the mistaken belief that they will share their enthusiasm. That said, when we arrived too late to see the band at the Ravo we began a mini-pub crawl to the Sandy Cove & then the Slug & Hare in Mandurah where we found the music we sought. Even I can't argue with Beatles & Johnny Cash & I learned to jive & do the waltz before the pub shut for the night. I was in amiable spirits after an enjoyable sing-a-long & in an unusual truce I allowed David to "walk me to my door" where upon he gave me a hug that was a little too 'fond' for my liking, and so Crazy Dave became Pervert Dave & I wondered when I would ever be delivered from his nonsense?

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Wigi & crab scoop
Wigi & crab scoop
Extreme fishing
Extreme fishing
Cobbler
Cobbler
Blowy I caught
Blowy I caught
Pinjarra
photo by: fyrefly